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Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ! You'd think I was the only parent ever to have embarked on an Access Course....

(20 Posts)
NomDePlume Mon 08-Aug-05 09:42:38

I'm bloody livid

I've been accepted onto an Access course (Radiography) at a college in Birmingham (40 mins drive). I've got a 3 year old DD (3 today, in fact !), who I need to arrange childcare for but I can't do this properly until the college tell me what my timetable looks like. So I've had to arrange DD's nursery sessions without knowing when I'll be at college, which is totally impossible.

I've been phoning the college since I got my acceptance letter in May, but I was continually told that they don't do the timetabling for the following year until July. So I called back in July and contstantly asked for the information, no one was 'in a position to help me' at any point. Then I went on holiday... Came back and it is the summer break so no bugger of any use is on site to speak to. All I do is get passed from pillar to post. I've explained the seriousness of my problem (ie I won't be starting the course if I can't get my childcare in place) but am hitting a brick wall of silence every time.

I refuse to believe that I am the first ever Access student they have accepted who has children, so they must've have come across this problem before.

I've told them how difficult it is to find last minute nursery places at good establishments in my area and yet still I'm faced with nothing, nada, zilch. I really want to do this course and I'm getting increasingly concerned as trm time looms ever closer.

tiredemma Mon 08-Aug-05 10:04:39

which college is it? if its sutton i have last years full time time table?

SweetFudge Mon 08-Aug-05 10:42:17

NDP, I can't offer any helpful advice but sending you a big cup of steaming hot chocolate and sympathies.

I had the same problem - had to arrange for childminding before baby arrives and course started - Called the university up and was told each time to phone in July which was absolutely USELESS for my purposes. I have a deferral now so problem resolved but had to turn to a midwifery student website and there were a number of second year students from my university with info on likely timetabling.

And yes, you'd have thought that colleges and universities would adapt to the fact that a lot of students are parents and need to arrange childcare before term starts. A provisional timetable would at least provide some idea of how they are going to structure the teaching.

However, nothing scares people into action more than an irate and extremely harassed parent.

Could you go down to the college and demand at least a past year's timetable from admissions office?

geekgrrl Mon 08-Aug-05 10:42:27

oh, it's maddening, isn't it?
I enrolled on a part time MA with Leeds uni last year, only to discover at the last minute that part time meant half the classes, but spread out over 5 days a week. How daft?! I had to withdraw as this was impossible to do practically.
I wonder who the pillocks are that do the timetables? Are they all single and free?

NomDePlume Mon 08-Aug-05 12:00:55

It's South Birmingham College, Hall Green Campus & . Thanks anyway tiredemma x

NomDePlume Mon 08-Aug-05 12:09:59

SweetFudge, going to college would mean hauling my ass (and DD's) up the M42 for nigh on an hour, so not really a practical option...

Since typing this, I've spoken to a semi helpful person (along with about 50 unhelpful ones), and they've given me a likely timetable. Unfortunately the Radiography group is so huge this year that they've had to split it into 2 groups (A & B, 2 diff timetables) and they couldn't tell me which group I'm in - grrrrrrrrr. They've given me the (provisional) timetables and said that there's a good likelihood of me being able to switch to the more suitable group b timetable if I'm not already in that group. Frustratingly, the timetable is in no way related to the nursry sessions I have pre-booked. My days are pretty much 9-5, with travelling factored in that makes them 8-6, and DD's current nursery is only open from 9-3.30.

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (again). So now I have to arrange alternative nursery care, which means enrolling DD at the local Leapfrog and explaining to her current nursery that the I won't be needing the sessions booked after all. I feel bloody awful about that as they've bent over backwards to help me out, but at least I can soothe my conscience a bit with the fact that I'm, only moving DD because they don't offer the lengthy sessions I need.

The stress is getting me down and I haven't even started

Fio2 Mon 08-Aug-05 12:14:12

I had the same problem as geekgrrl, infact i seriously wonder how any mothers get any qualifications unless you do OU!

SweetFudge Mon 08-Aug-05 14:19:03

NDP, good that you've finally managed to extract some useful info but all this uncertainty still!

I feel for you having to turn down the nursery but they will surely understand the situation and like you said, it is for your DD.

I called up the childminders we'd interviewed after finally getting the deferral and they were understanding but felt rather guilty all the same.

Going back to education and all the jitters about courswork, getting on with new faces, etc and on top of that, parenthood...just think though, today access course, tomorrow radiographer!

NomDePlume Mon 08-Aug-05 14:22:58

. It's is so exciting but mega stressful

HappyHuggy Mon 08-Aug-05 14:31:23

NDP - you're college is 2 minutes from me

i started access course last year but didnt get my timetable til the day i started. We found that most nurseries (mine go to dovehouse nursery) understand about colleges cause it took 6 weeks for the first payments to come through. So you might want to check the funding arrangements if your college will be paying for the nursery.

(they pay for both mine to go )

NomDePlume Mon 08-Aug-05 14:32:46

Sadly huggy, we're not eligble for the funding.

HappyHuggy Mon 08-Aug-05 14:39:40

thats a shame. I didnt think i would be either cause dh works but was told that there was a special fund set up cause it was a health related course.

which is lucky cause i wouldnt be able to do the course otherwise, even just part time childcare costs about 160 cause ive got 2 ds's.

Good luck with the course

NomDePlume Mon 08-Aug-05 14:42:23

Even with the fund I would seriously doubt it, as my DH earns in the higher tax bracket and generally that means we get £0 in the way of benefits/bursaries.

NomDePlume Mon 08-Aug-05 14:42:54

Thanks BTW . Do you go to sbirm then ?

HappyHuggy Mon 08-Aug-05 14:45:55

I go to solihull college, doing access to health but live about really near to the hall green campus (just moved in last week! well nearly am still decorating )

you can see my road from the college.

you're welcome yo pop in for a cuppa on one of your lunch breaks if you want

NomDePlume Mon 08-Aug-05 14:55:07

That's really kind of you, I may very well take you up on that

nutcracker Mon 08-Aug-05 15:27:40

I am having a similar prob NDP.

I applied for the course ages and ages ago and stated I would need childcare for one day a week.

Went to see them about it again the other week as I had heard nothing, onlt to be told that unless I could prove my eligability for wftc and a nursery place that Ds couldn't have his name put down and in any case the nursery was full

snafu Mon 08-Aug-05 18:43:29

NdP, it's a bloody nightmare isn't it? King's won't release any useful info about timetables either so I've had to dig around and beg past students to tell me what they can, but I'm still in the dark really.

It drives me nuts - especially on courses like our (i.e. healthcare related) where they a) always have a high proportion of mature students and b) have massive retention problems very often for exactly this sort of reason - people dropping out because childcare and timetables clash so often. It is madness and doesn't do anyone - university, students, NHS, future employers, etc any favours whatsoever. Makes me

I had to cancel ds's nursery place for the same reason as you and they weren't happy - made me feel as if I was messing them around for the fun of it. I have found a childminder who says she is willing to be flexible which is great - but we shall see just how flexible she really is from Sept 19th!

NomDePlume Tue 09-Aug-05 10:10:29

At least I'm not alone in my frustrations !

fireflyfairy2 Tue 09-Aug-05 13:38:57

I have just finished my Access course adter 2 years of hard slog. Mine was in English and History but. I Loved it!! The classes were ran from 9am until 9pm on a Monday...and all queries after that was dealt with by e-mail to the tutor. Most of the class members had children.. men and woman, One man even had PR of his little brothers and had to arrange child care for them too.. but we all got through it in the end. How long does your course last?

I begin Uni now in September and i'm having hassle now about childcare AGAIN!

It's terrible how hard they make it for parents isn't it?

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